Goodbye, Lone Ranger: Empathy and Sustainability, Part One

Reading about the tensions between collective and individual identity in Jeremy Rifkin’s bible-length tome, The Empathic Civilization, I realized I’ve lived most of my life with a Lone Ranger mentality…

I encountered Rifkin’s exploration of a civilization based on empathy at just the right moment, at the tail end of my time as a graduate student in the Urban Environmental Leadership program and just as I was wrapping up my final thesis exploring youth participation and urban agriculture. Rifkin paints a picture of humanity that binds us all together—from our earliest days to the present—in an undeniable arc toward greater awareness of “the other.”